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Motocross Champion Alers

Motocross Champion Alers

Victorian Motocross Champion Anton Alers

Andrew Alers racing at Wallan
Anton Alers motocross - Australasian Dirt Bike
1975 Anton Alers at 17 on his 360 Husqvarna with his father Kees at the family Honda Shop at Mornington - Australian Dirt Bike

Photos: [Left]  Victorian Anton Alers in action aboard his  360 Husqvarna at Wallan;  [Top Right]  In 1976, Alers contested a round of the Dutch National 125cc Championship;  and [Bottom right] Alers at 17 on his Husqvarna with his father Kees at the family Honda Shop at Mornington (Melbourne Age)

Anton Alers' motocross career ends tragically

Victorian motocross rider – the late Anton Alers – from the Frankston Motor Cycle Club was one of the country’s most promising riders in the 1970s.

At the end of 1974 Alers had notched up 33 consecutive wins in his classes on a Honda CR125, winning an ACU of Victoria achievement award against some very talented riders, including Mike Landman and the Bailey Brothers, Robin and Andrew.  When moving up into seniors, at a 125c Victorian Championship meeting at Wallan, he clocked a faster time than the winning A grader riders on the day.

In 1975 aboard a Husqvarna CR360, Alers from Mornington, finished second overall in the Victorian All Powers (Unlimited) Motocross Championship in his first attempt. Then at the Bert Flood International on 16 Nov 1975, at age 17, he was the first Australian home behind visiting internationals in the 125cc class – Reigning World 125cc Champion Gaston Rahier (Belgium, Suzuki), Scottish Champion Vic Allen (Bultaco), and Gualtiero Brissoni (Italy).

Aler’s family was from The Netherlands and in 1976 he went to live with relatives in Holland. Gery de Bruyn, who used to race Husqvarna’s in Australia, met Anton over there and organised a water-cooled Yamaha 125 for him from a Rotterdam dealer for him to compete in Round 6 of the Dutch National 125cc Series.

Finishing fourth against the likes of National Dutch Champion Gerry Rond was very impressive.  With two second placings in the Victorian 125cc and Open classes later that year, 1977 looked like the beginning of a motocross career destined for the top of the scene. But after a tragic racing accident, the year became one of adjusting to life without a leg.

1974 Frankston MCC members at ACUV presentation - Andrew Bailey, Anton Alers, Mike Landman and Robin Bailey
1975 - Wallan International 10 August 1975 – Startline with Steve Cramer (94) and Anton Alers

Photos: [Top]  1974 Frankston MCC members at an ACU of Victoria presentation – Andrew Bailey, Anton Alers (with perpetual shield), Mike Landman and Robin Bailey;  and [Bottom] Anton Alers (no.3, far right) on the startline at Wallan for the 1975 Bert Flood International, where he was the highest  placed Aussie behind the world and international champions.

Life after motocross and a successful business career

Anton Alers Christmas Hills holeshot before his bad crash
Anton Alers began riding motorycles withing six months of losing his leg in a motocross crash - Melbourne Age

In May 1977, at 19, Alers professional racing career came to a abrupt end at Christmas Hills, near Melbourne, when he crashed 30 minutes into the Victorian Grand National.

Running second to Ron Dinsdale, the two collided on the last lap as Alers tried to pass approaching the first turn of the circuit. Alers hit the wooden fence causing multiple fractures to his right leg, severely damaging an artery. Gangrene later set in and his leg had to be amputated just below the hip, over three operations.

At the time, it meant that Alers would never ride motorbikes again, but just six months after the accident Alers fired up his IT 175 Yamaha, which Milledges had just given him and started riding. Four months earlier he also enrolled at Melbourne University to study mechanical engineering, the following year swapping to architecture.

With the help of his father Kees, they made modifications to the bike, rigging the back brake to a cable on the handlebar, enabling Anton to go casual trailbike riding with his friends.

Anton would go onto forge a successful business career in architecture for over 25 years, becoming a principal at Veritas Architects Australia. His work involved working in Malaysia and on return to Australia in 2023, he was feeling unwell and it was soon discovered that he had two tumors in his brain. 

Sadly, Anton passed away on 17 May 2023 (RIP 24/6/1958-17/5/2023).

Photos: [Top] Anton Alers  wins the holeshot at Christmas Hills in the Victorian Grand National – his last ride before a career ending accident; and [Bottom] within six months after the accident Anton was riding again – trail bikes with his mates.

More photos

Advertisement - Athol Paterson Motorcycles in Springvale, Victoria - Anton Alers
Anton Alers and his wife Christine and their children, being installed as Master of Seavic Lodge
RIP Anton Alers - In loving memory 24 June 1958 to 17 May 2023

Photos: [Left] An advertisement for Athol Patterson Motorcycles promoting his runner-up placing in the Vic. State titles; [Centre] Anton went on to forge a very successful business career – picture here with his wife Christine and their children at his Master of Seavic Lodge presentation; and [Right] Remembering Anton at his funeral service on 25 May 2023.

Aler's career highlights

1977 Anton Alers on a Yamaha 400 at Devon Meadows, near Frankston

Juniors

1974
4th Inaugural Victorian Sub-juniors race, Pakenham
Sub-Juniors win, Frankston

1974-75
33 consecutive wins in Juniors and C Grade classes aboard a Honda CR125

Photo:  Anton Alers in 1977 on a Yamaha 400 at Devon Meadows, near Frankston

Seniors

1975
4th overall Bert Flood International 125cc Class at Wallan (Highest placed Australian)
2nd Victorian Mr. MX Series

1976
4th Dutch National Championship Round
2nd Victorian 125cc Championship
2nd Victorian All-powers Class

 

Page References:
Australasian Dirt Bike, The Melbourne Age, Rosco Holden, and 1975 Bert Flood International Program

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